Sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster has been dealing with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer since she was 13 years old. Having recently decided to join a support group for children living with cancer she meets Augustus Waters (with osteosarcoma), and the infatuation was instantaneous. Their relationship grows and a common obsession with Peter van Houten’s An Imperial Affliction finds them in Amsterdam trying to track down this obscure author.
There really isn’t much I can say about this book that I haven’t said before. I really like John Green’s books; he writes some great characters and Hazel and Augustus are not exception. This isn’t a typical cancer book, but it is a typical Green book (not that there is anything wrong with that). I do feel like Green have some reoccurring themes in all his books but this one tries hard to break the mould. Obviously since it’s still a John Green book it never will break out, he knows what he likes; his style works really well, so there is nothing too wrong with keeping to it.
This book tends to shift a little into the unrealistic, but I’m sure there are intelligent and witty sixteen year olds that act and talk like these two; I’ve just never met them. I love how Green does a pretty typical YA love story but then finds interesting metaphors and ideas to throw in the mix. Hazel Grace and the reader are left examining life; sickness and health, life and death, what defines them and even the legacy they will leave behind.
The whole concept of ‘death being at your door the entire time’ makes for a very interesting YA novel. I’m pleased to say this is a fine example of what John Green does. I’ve read most of John Green’s novels now and I’m a huge fan of his works; I’m a little sad to think there is only one more novel of his left to read. I would love to know who else can offer intelligent and mostly realistic Young Adult novels for me to read.